Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service

68 Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the US. Postal Service

Table 13.-Changes in USPS Labor Force
Requirements for High But Plausible Generation II
EMS Growth Alternative, Year 2000, As a Function
of Underlying Mainstream Growth Rate and Labor
Productivity Improvement per Year

Underlying mainstream
growth rate per year 0%
3% .. .. .. .. . .. .. .. .. + 2.
2% ................. 10,l
1 ............. ... 2 0 .4

Labor productivity
improvement per year
1 .5% 3.0%
7% -13.8% -25.6%
1 - 23.3 - 32.9
- 30.9 - 38.6

NOTE Changes in labor force requirement expressed as percentage in
crease ( + ) or decrease ( - ) from 1980 USPS labor force
SOURCE Office of Technology Assessment
stream growth and 3 percent productivity im
provement, a very substantial 38.6 percent
reduction in labor force is projected in 2000.
However, only about half of this reduction
would be due to declining mainstream volume,
with the other half due to labor productivity
improvement.
Labor requirements could be calculated for
every separate employee group under various
assumptions in any future year specified. OTA
estimated detailed labor force requirements in
2000 for the base case (high but plausible Gen
eration II EMS growth alternative, 2 percent
underlying mainstream growth, 1.5 percent
labor productivity growth) and for the base

case modified to assume a 3 percent annual
labor productivity improvement. Actually, as
indicated in table 13, in terms of overall pro
jected labor force changes, the base case is
roughly the same as the 1 percent mailstream/
0 percent labor productivity and 3 percent
mainstream/3 percent labor combinations. The
2 percent mainstream/3 percent labor produc
tivity is about the same as the 1 percent mail
stream/1.5 percent labor productivity combi
nation.
As summarized in tables 14 and 15, the pro
jected net reduction in the total USPS labor
force for these two cases is about 158,000 and
223,000 employees, respectively, with a re
maining labor force in 2000 of roughly 506,568
and 452,813 employees.
The projected labor force reductions are not
spread evenly among all employee groups.
Almost two thirds of the reductions would be
from the post office clerks and mail handlers
group --99,900 and 141,000, respectively, for
the two cases shown in tables 14 and 15. This
is because the work of clerks and mail handlers
is more directly related to mail volume than
any other employee group. In addition, USPS
delivery of Generation II EMS probably
would not require many of the sorting and

Table 14.-Projected USPS Year 2000 Labor Force Requirements by Employee Group, Assuming High But

Plausible Generation II EMS Growth, 2-Percent Underlying Mainstream Growth, and
Productivity Improvement'

1.5-Percent Labor

Percentage
change
year 2000

Employee group

H eadquarters .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . .. . . . . . . . . . . . 0
Regional and other field units ...................... 0
Inspection service .... ..... .... ..... ..... ..... .... 0
Postm asters......... ............................ -7.3"0
Post office supervisors and technical personnel....... - 19.9
Post office clerks and mail handlers ................. --32.9
City delivery carriers and vehicle drivers ............. - 19.1
Rural delivery carriers ............................. - 10.3
Special delivery messengers ....................... -- 14.9
Building and equipment maintenance personnel ...... -- 17.2
Vehicle maintenance facility personnel .............. - 11.1

Number of
reduction from
fiscal year 1980
0
0
0
-2,120
-7,260
-99,900
-37,000
-5,470
-373
-5,060
-537

Totals ......................................... - 158,000 510,000
aRoughlyequlvalentto 3-percent mainstream growthl3-percent productivity improvement and Ipercent mainstream growthl0-percentpro-
ductivIty improvement
bBaseton total year 2000 USPS- dellvered mall volume of 88.5 billion.
NOTE: All numbers rounded to three significant figures.
SOURCE: Off Ice of TechnologyAssessment.

Employees
year 2000
total
2,800
6,220
5,240
26,900
29,220
204,000
157,000
47,600
2,130
24,400
4,300

United States. Congress. Office of Technology Assessment. Implications of Electronic Mail and Message Systems for the U.S. Postal Service. UNT Digital Library. http://digital.library.unt.edu/ark:/67531/metadc39480/. Accessed November 26, 2014.